Thursday, July 06, 2006

finding what you're looking for

i have climbed highest mountain. i have run through the fields...

along with the 5 day affair, i headed to ohio during my absence. it was family time: my cousin jumped the broom.

ahh, marriage. don't front. i love that shit. the rings, the brian mcknight, the bad ass ringbearer, the inherently corny vows, the cake. (gosh, how i love the cake.) besides, it's not all the time i get to see my 92 year old grandmother take two screwdrivers to the head, and then ask my mother what year it is... ah, yes. wedding time is family time.

as i watched my mother--in abject horror-- see how low she could go during the cha cha slide portion of the reception, i looked around and wondered, "what would happen at a black wedding if they played neither the cha cha nor the electric slides during the reception?" i didn't come up with an answer immediately, so i began to think of other, less pressing things. sure, these items of contemplation were hardly as deep and significant as dreaming up a black reception with no line dances, but they were thought-provoking nonetheless.

i have kissed honey lips, felt my healing in her fingertips...

see, another thing i like about weddings and all the shit surrounding it is the lofty rhetoric. in other words, i'm intrigued by the "we wrote our own vows" phenomenon. niggas just get so unspecific and fluffy, jacking lines from maya angelou hallmark cards and whatnot, scouring thesauruses for words they've never used. they go on and on, trying not to succumb to tears. all the while my mother and i sit in the audience and suggest people keep it real. yeah, while you're getting all jerry mcguire with your "you complete me" jargon, my mother is whispering in my ear, "i think people need to be more honest during the vows and say things like, 'i promise not to fuck around too much during our marriage.'" yes, yes, y'all. the hateration never stops.

i have spoke with the tongues of angels

all that said, one thing you hear folks say when they're talking of their betrothed, soulmate, new houses or whatever is this common phrase: "i just knew." and no one ever says anything concrete about how you "just know." instead they talk about some mystical feeling they got at some point in the relationship--often the very beginning. i can't say i've ever "just known" anything. (though shoes often say "buy me" when i try them on.) given the divorce rate, it seems that a lot of folk don't really "just know" either.

so i wonder: does one ever really "just know"? or is that idea just part of the fairytale romance package disney, hallmark, et. al. try to sell us on our way to see the divorce lawyer?

i believe in the kingdom come... then all the colors will bleed into one... well, yes i'm still running...

now maybe i wonder all of this because i'm jaded and a cynic. and by no means am i firmly suggesting that nobody ever "just knows." yet i also wonder, is the idea of "just knowing" simply a retroactive gesture? do we later assign meaning to things that had heretofore been deemed meaningless until we (thought we) figured out that this thing of ours might go the distance?

i don't entirely believe in serendipitous happenstance, but i'm also not completely sold on fate. admittedly, i've never been in love. i'm beginning to embrace different and unorthodox ways of coming into relationships with people. i'd like to imagine that i have some sort of controlof how and when i choose to be in love. the idea of "just knowing" scares me, for it limits my agency. but more than that, i think i'm just frightened that i'll never "just know." i'd be much more comfortable with the idea of growing into "just knowing." just looking for some bullet points, i guess. so i can identify "just knowing" when i see it.

in the meantime, i suppose i'll use the a bronx tale way of finding my three great ones.

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison